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    1. #1
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      Annoying Service Experience

      I hate upselling.

      Those of you that know me from my 17-year (!) presence here on Swedespeed know that I like to do my own work when I can, but am generally very supportive of the pros in the service and warranty world. However, even I get aggravated.

      At 50k miles, I no longer am eligible for free service. I did the 40k service myself. I inspected the brakes at that time and found everything in great shape except for the fact the rear pads were getting thin. "New pads at the next oil change", I told myself.

      Well, along comes the recall for the door latches, so I thought that since I needed to bring the car in for that, they could do the 50k service and rear pads while they had the car. I asked for estimates.

      Holy mackerel!

      Now, according to the service schedule, the 50k service is pretty much just an oil and filter change. The dealer quoted $245! After a few questions, they revealed they "throw in" a transmission oil change as well.

      To quote the Volvo service literature: "Volvo recommends changing transmission fluid at 50k only on vehicles used for towing". My V60 leads a easy life. No towing and almost all highway miles. I don't need no stinking trans fluid change.

      Then the real shocker... $720 for rear brakes and fluid! Sheesh. I'm pretty sure they were assuming they'd have to do a full-on brake service that included new rotors, but the rotors are in fine shape and absolutely do not need replacement. Perhaps they would have come to this conclusion on their own, but...

      So I declined that, too, and went straight to the Tasca Volvo website and ordered a set of original Volvo pads and caliper bolts for less than $100, including tax and shipping. I figure a liter of brake fluid will cost me about $10 at the auto parts store. Maybe another $5 for a can of brake cleaner.

      Bottom line... Instead of agreeing to potentially $960 dollars of work at the dealer, I will end up spending about $230 plus about a half-day in the garage.

      Now, the whole experience is not a big deal for me personally because I've dealt with it many, many times in my 50 years of shade-tree wrenching, but my heart goes out to the folks who rightly or wrongly feel they are not capable of doing what I do. Yes, I have made some investments in tools, but I imagine I have saved thousands and thousands of dollars in service fees over the years. AND, with all the DIY content on YouTube these days, everyone has instant acess to the "voodoo" that happens in the service bays. (You kids don't know how lucky you are in that regard. Now, get off my lawn.)

      Thanks for listening. I feel better now.
      Last edited by Dyno; 06-01-2020 at 08:24 AM.

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    3. #2
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      Quote Originally Posted by Dyno View Post

      I hate upselling.

      I don't need no stinking trans fluid change.

      Thanks for listening. I feel better now.

      As a licenced mechanic for over 30 years, and did a stint as tech support/training for a world wide automotive chemical company (including transmission fluid) for 7 years ....

      You are wrong, you absolutely need to have your transmission oil replaced, even if the manufacturer says you don't because of lifetime fluid (not your case).
      I can explain this in detail but I am late for work, but it has to do with marketing and taxes.

      Cheers



      Sent from my SM-T590 using Tapatalk

    4. #3
      Junior Member meade18's Avatar
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      $245 for an oil change and transmission drain and fill at a Volvo dealer is not a bad deal. These transmissions are still new so there isn't a ton of real world experience with them at high mileage, but it will probably last 150k miles without any sort of service. The question there is, do you want it to last longer? If I had bought my car with under 50k miles and was offered that price, I would have taken it gladly. I bought my car with close to 80k however, and at that point, I determined it was probably too late to do a trans drain and fill. Maybe I would have been fine, but I decided I didn't want to risk it.

      The price for the brake job is ridiculous, but not surprising. Those of us that haven't paid to change a brake pad in years and know how much work goes into it and are always going to choke when we see any brake service quote.
      2015.5 Volvo V60 Premier T5 (2.0T Drive-E) FWD (with a new engine)

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    6. #4
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      $245 for 50K service to include a transmission oil change sounds pretty fair to me. As you say, 50K service is mostly checks and an oil change. I had the dealer change the transmission oil on both our Volvos at about 40K. We don't tow either but live in a hot, dusty environment. I have read that having this done fairly early on can extend the life of the transmission, so I look at it as a small insurance policy. When our Saab 9-5s aged out of warranty I started doing my own mx to include oil changes and transmission oil changes among other things. I'm a lot older now and prefer to pay for these services vice crawling under the car but if you are still able to do your own service my hat is off to you!
      2015.5 V60CC Savile Grey met, BLIS, heated front seats, convenience pkg, rubber mats
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    7. #5
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      Certainly weird that they include a trans fluid replacement at the 50k. And if that is true, that price is good.

      As for the brakes, I'm sure that was pads and rotors. Pads and rotors at retail price plus labor is right around there. And you mentioned fluid, so maybe that's a brake flush too (which you wouldn't need since it was done at 40k).

    8. #6
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      and to be honest the brake job isnt crazy high either. if you flushed brake fluid with 40k service, it shouldnt need it done 10k miles later. rotors are recommended, not required, but there is higher risk of vibration, squeaks and grinds. dealer i work at gets $150 to flush brake fluid, makes rear pads and rotors about $580. rotors are probably 105 or $130ea, so without brake fluid would be rear pads and rotors about $600 with paste and cleaner, about 335-385 in parts and 265-215 in labor. well within reason imo.

      sounds like the bigger issue is communication. they priced their standard services, you dont want their standard service so you dont like the price. i bet if you ask specifically for just an oil change and rear brake pad replacement, their estimate is more in line with what you want.

    9. #7
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      I agree that $245 for engine + trans fluid change is fair. My only beef is that a.) I had to specifically ask why it was expensive and only then learned that trans service was included and b.) they assumed I authorized a non-recommended service.

      Few maintenance topics are more controversial than the earlier-than-recommended trans fluid change. It probably wouldn't hurt (just like earlier-than-recommended engine oil changes), but is it worth the $? IMHO, no.

      On maintenance issues, I figure the manufacturer has the most experience and is the most motivated to provide the best customer experience, unlike fluid sellers, who are motivated to sell their product.

      Regarding the brakes, if I had given them the work, there's a good chance they would have called me back and said "Hey, good news. We really don't need to change the rotors.", but I did not feel confident about that and one of the best DIY jobs for saving money is brake work.
      Last edited by Dyno; 06-01-2020 at 10:18 AM.

    10. #8
      Senior Member Wayne T5's Avatar
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      Yeah, none of those prices really surprise me and the oil and ATF change for $245 seems pretty fair like others have indicated.

      Regarding rear brakes, some manufacturers have just gone to replacing rotors and pads at the same time. Technically you'd have to measure the remaining thickness of the rotors to rule out not just replacing them.
      Past: '94 854, '99 S70 T5 SE, '99 S70 GLT, '04 S60R M, '12 S60 T5, '13 S60 T5, '15 S60 RD, '05 V70R GT
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    11. #9
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      Quote Originally Posted by Dyno View Post
      On maintenance issues, I figure the manufacturer has the most experience and is the most motivated to provide the best customer experience, unlike fluid sellers, who are motivated to sell their product.
      but keep in mind manufacturers try to keep it simple and lower initial ownership costs. if volvo view a "lifetime" of a car to be 10 years or 150k, who cares if transmission fluid will eat the transmission by 200k unserviced. but i service a lot of cars in the 300k+ range. depends on what you plan to do with the car. if i were getting rid of a car before 100k, id service it differently than a car i was expecting 250k + out of.

      tires are a good example. why does volvo not recommend tire rotations despite every tire manufacturer they use recommend them 5-6k miles? volvo doesnt care how long your tires last. they care that the car goes down the road smoothly. if you need to replace your oem tires at 20k because the right front is 3/32 and the rears are at 6/32, volvo isnt going to lose any sleep.

    12. #10
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      After trans fluid changes, tire rotation is probably the second-most controversial topic.

      One reason is illustrated in brich's example. If you bring your car into Volvo with front tires at 3/32 and rears at 6/32 and ask them to rotate the tires, you have just asked them to create a dangerous configuration (never have rear tires that are significantly more worn than the front).

      My theory is that Volvo just doesn't want any part of that (they claim to put safety above all else, right?). If you never rotate the tires on your front-tire-eating Volvo, you will always avoid the "worn rear" scenario but at the expense of more rapid wear.

      Of course, you can have the best of both worlds by rotating often enough to avoid "significant" F/R tread depth differences, but if you can't accomplish that, it's better not to rotate.
      Last edited by Dyno; 06-01-2020 at 11:23 AM.

    13. #11
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      Quote Originally Posted by Dyno View Post
      After trans fluid changes, tire rotation is probably the second-most controversial topic.

      One reason is illustrated in brich's example. If you bring your car into Volvo with front tires at 3/32 and rears at 6/32 and ask them to rotate the tires, you have just asked them to create a dangerous configuration (never have rear tires that are significantly more worn than the front).

      My theory is that Volvo just doesn't want any part of that (they claim to put safety above all else, right?). If you never rotate the tires on your front-tire-eating Volvo, you will always avoid the "worn rear" scenario but at the expense of more rapid wear.

      Of course, you can have the best of both worlds by rotating often enough to avoid "significant" F/R tread depth differences, but if you can't accomplish that, it's better not to rotate.
      When to rotate depends on what octane you're using.



      Kidding of course. Just wanted to add another controversial topic to the mix.

    14. #12
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      LOL. You'd think it'd be an exact science, but instead we're left to argue about it on the internet. That's what the internet is for, I guess. but in

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      Quote Originally Posted by Tech View Post
      When to rotate depends on what octane you're using.
      ... But only if you are burning oil at a rate of >1qt / 1000 miles.


      It's been a while, time to rehash all of the fun topics.

    16. #14
      Junior Member RobertK's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Dyno View Post
      Now, according to the service schedule, the 50k service is pretty much just an oil and filter change. The dealer quoted $245! After a few questions, they revealed they "throw in" a transmission oil change as well.
      $245 for a 50K service and a transmission fluid change would be a great price at my dealer. My dealer charges about $200 for the 50k service and $130 for a standalone oil change with Volvo spec synthetic oil. I'd be interested to see if my dealer is at the high or low end of the pricing range for this service.

      FCP Euro charges $17 for a quart of Volvo transmission fluid, and I have no idea what the dealer charges for it. Depending on how you do it, a transmission fluid change requires between 4 and 12 quarts. The capacity of the transmission is 7 quarts, and you only get about half of it out by draining it once.

      I don't see how they can "throw in" a transmission fluid change and make any money on it.
      Current Volvo: 2016 S60 T5 Inscription w/Platinum package
      Previous Volvos: 1993 850 GLT (sold in 2016), 1984 240 DL Diesel (sold in 1993)

    17. #15
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      I bet they don't. Dyno, care to share what dealer this is?

    18. #16
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      Quote Originally Posted by Tech View Post
      I bet they don't. Dyno, care to share what dealer this is?
      Nah, I'd rather not. I've been happy with them and don't want to throw anybody under the bus for doing business in that manner. It's just business. It's just that I have a specific approach to maintenance, which was the point of the post.

      As mentioned, I don't think the prices are bad for what they wanted to do. It's just that I think some of that work is unnecessary in my particular case.

      My notes are sloppy, but here's what I wrote...
      Oil + Filt $115
      Rotate Tires $16
      Trans Service $130
      Rear Brakes $620
      Fluid Change (don't recall if this refers to trans fluid or brake fluid) $99

      It's no different than going to a restaurant, I suppose (remember those days?)... "Something from the bar? How about an appetizer? Take a look at this yummy dessert tray."

      No thank you, not today. And don't forget the Senior Discount, son.

    19. #17
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      Those charges are probably not out of line, but it shows just how much a competent "saturday mechanic " can save over decades.
      I have saved myself tens of thousands of dollars in 47 years of wrenching. And not just cars...boats, motorcycles, home renovations, electrical...and yes, everything to code. I even mount and balance my own tires.
      Because I have done this over the years, I fully appreciate the independent and dealership techs and their charges because I have hands on experience as to just how difficult and time consuming some repairs and maintenance can be. It sounds so easy and simple sometimes when reading a repair procedure .......until you come across that one rusted bolt that breaks off and you spend hours now, flat on your back under your car, trying to get that thing out......According to my sons, my four letter word vocabulary is unmatched.....
      But I'm pleased when the job is done.

    20. #18
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      No problem, I understand. Most dealers have their services on their website. As far as I know, what's included is straight out of the owner's manual and cannot be edited. So it would not include a trans flush. That was why I asked the dealer, I was going to check that.

    21. #19
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      Quote Originally Posted by Dyno View Post
      I hate upselling.

      Those of you that know me from my 17-year (!) presence here on Swedespeed know that I like to do my own work when I can, but am generally very supportive of the pros in the service and warranty world. However, even I get aggravated.

      At 50k miles, I no longer am eligible for free service. I did the 40k service myself. I inspected the brakes at that time and found everything in great shape except for the fact the rear pads were getting thin. "New pads at the next oil change", I told myself.

      Well, along comes the recall for the door latches, so I thought that since I needed to bring the car in for that, they could do the 50k service and rear pads while they had the car. I asked for estimates.

      Holy mackerel!

      Now, according to the service schedule, the 50k service is pretty much just an oil and filter change. The dealer quoted $245! After a few questions, they revealed they "throw in" a transmission oil change as well.

      To quote the Volvo service literature: "Volvo recommends changing transmission fluid at 50k only on vehicles used for towing". My V60 leads a easy life. No towing and almost all highway miles. I don't need no stinking trans fluid change.

      Then the real shocker... $720 for rear brakes and fluid! Sheesh. I'm pretty sure they were assuming they'd have to do a full-on brake service that included new rotors, but the rotors are in fine shape and absolutely do not need replacement. Perhaps they would have come to this conclusion on their own, but...

      So I declined that, too, and went straight to the Tasca Volvo website and ordered a set of original Volvo pads and caliper bolts for less than $100, including tax and shipping. I figure a liter of brake fluid will cost me about $10 at the auto parts store. Maybe another $5 for a can of brake cleaner.

      Bottom line... Instead of agreeing to potentially $960 dollars of work at the dealer, I will end up spending about $230 plus about a half-day in the garage.

      Now, the whole experience is not a big deal for me personally because I've dealt with it many, many times in my 50 years of shade-tree wrenching, but my heart goes out to the folks who rightly or wrongly feel they are not capable of doing what I do. Yes, I have made some investments in tools, but I imagine I have saved thousands and thousands of dollars in service fees over the years. AND, with all the DIY content on YouTube these days, everyone has instant acess to the "voodoo" that happens in the service bays. (You kids don't know how lucky you are in that regard. Now, get off my lawn.)

      Thanks for listening. I feel better now.
      I was quoted $350 per half axle for complete brake replacement (resurface rotors, not even new) for a Subaru WRX about 8 years ago. Brake work at dealers is always expensive, regardless of brand. That is when I started learning to change my own sets.
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    22. #20
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      I used to do all my own work. Like the OP, I'm older and have more than 40 years experience doing things myself. A year ago we moved into a condo and I gave up my garage and donated all my tools and equipment to my son-in-law.

      The cost of brake jobs at service facilities, especially dealers, always shocks me. I guess because I've done literally hundreds of brake jobs and know how relatively easy they typically are. But since I moved to the condo, the one that got me the most was when my local shop quoted $400 to change spark plugs on my Silverado.

      I couldn't stomach that amount and just did them myself out in the street. Took me an hour. The high end plugs I bought cost $72. How can they come up with $400?

      Getting used to paying someone else to do the work isn't coming easy for me.
      2017 Volvo S60 Dynamic AWD

    23. #21
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      I don't know the labor time for spark plugs on a Silverado. But keep in mind the labor time is not necessarily how long it actually takes. I can beat the labor time on any non-warranty job and a vast majority of warranty jobs. Of course, they could also have been overcharging.
      Last edited by Tech; 06-03-2020 at 06:41 AM.

    24. #22
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      Quote Originally Posted by leftoverture View Post
      I used to do all my own work. Like the OP, I'm older and have more than 40 years experience doing things myself. A year ago we moved into a condo and I gave up my garage and donated all my tools and equipment to my son-in-law.

      The cost of brake jobs at service facilities, especially dealers, always shocks me. I guess because I've done literally hundreds of brake jobs and know how relatively easy they typically are. But since I moved to the condo, the one that got me the most was when my local shop quoted $400 to change spark plugs on my Silverado.

      I couldn't stomach that amount and just did them myself out in the street. Took me an hour. The high end plugs I bought cost $72. How can they come up with $400?

      Getting used to paying someone else to do the work isn't coming easy for me.
      I hear you. I've been wrenching on my cars for over 40 yrs. I was able to do the drain and fill on my old Saab transmissions and I took that car to 273K miles on the original drive train minus one CV boot. I will have my mechanic do the E-drive transmission as it is a little more involved with temperature readings. I know that will cost me approx $200.00 or more and I will have to get used to that.

    25. #23
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      Hey Tech and others in the trade...

      I'm curious -- Is it hard these days to get good entry-level automotive technicians? I have the impression that younger people are not as interested in cars compared to years ago. It could just be my unconscious cultural bias.

      When I was in high school, there was a waiting list to enroll in Auto Shop. I don't think it's even offered any more.

    26. #24
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      The short answer is I think it is hard to find good entry level techs.

      I also think it is hard to find dealerships that want to pay good techs appropriately, but that's a whole different conversation.

    27. #25
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      Quote Originally Posted by Dyno View Post
      Hey Tech and others in the trade...

      I'm curious -- Is it hard these days to get good entry-level automotive technicians? I have the impression that younger people are not as interested in cars compared to years ago. It could just be my unconscious cultural bias.

      When I was in high school, there was a waiting list to enroll in Auto Shop. I don't think it's even offered any more.
      My sense is that training youth in the automotive trade is a much higher bar for the typical high school though there are excellent college-level facilities out there. UTI in Phoenix comes to mind.
      With the transition from mechanical diagnosis & repair to micro-electronic circuitry dominated issues, it's easy to see why more of today's youth are focused on other areas of computer-related endeavor. A good automotive tech can make a good living but it pales in comparison to what can be made in high tech.

      I graduated from high school as an automotive major and made a comfortable living as an independent auto tech/shop owner. Had I majored in electronics instead, who knows what opportunities might have come my way.
      Last edited by halfast3; 06-03-2020 at 10:15 AM.
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    28. #26
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      I am one of those who don't do any service on any vehicle. My philosophy is that my payments to the Service Department will keep them around longer, for those, like yourself, that can do MOST of the service yourselves.
      2017 S90 T6 AWD Inscription w/Polestar (my 1st Volvo)/ Black Onyx/Amber; Climate; HUD; Convenience; Vision; 20" Wheels; Metallic Paint; Spoiler; Polestar; 2018 Honda Accord 1.5T Touring (replaced my lemon '16 Sonata PHEV)

    29. #27
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      Quote Originally Posted by Dyno View Post
      Hey Tech and others in the trade...

      I'm curious -- Is it hard these days to get good entry-level automotive technicians? I have the impression that younger people are not as interested in cars compared to years ago. It could just be my unconscious cultural bias.

      When I was in high school, there was a waiting list to enroll in Auto Shop. I don't think it's even offered any more.
      Actually, not as hard as you might think. My son is taking an associates degree in Automotive Service Technology at our local community college. His classes are running with about 10 to 15 students each. He'll graduate with the ASE Student Certification (testing required).

      And one of his high school classmates is doing an apprenticeship at a dealer.

      And man, its nice to send the car with parts to school with him, and they supply the labor.....

      Landru
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      Thumbs up

      Quote Originally Posted by Landru View Post
      He'll graduate with the ASE Student Certification (testing required).
      Congratulations!

    31. #29
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      Quote Originally Posted by halfast3 View Post
      Had I majored in electronics instead, who knows what opportunities might have come my way.
      Right. Who knows.

      I had a high school friend who's father owned a TV repair shop. He took all the electronics classes he could in preparation for taking over the family business, which he eventually did. He made good bucks for a while servicing VCRs and had contracts with local hospitals for TV repair, but I can't imagine he's still in business. The grass always looks greener on the other side of the fence, I suppose.

    32. #30
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      Quote Originally Posted by Landru View Post
      Actually, not as hard as you might think. My son is taking an associates degree in Automotive Service Technology at our local community college. His classes are running with about 10 to 15 students each. He'll graduate with the ASE Student Certification (testing required).

      And one of his high school classmates is doing an apprenticeship at a dealer.

      And man, its nice to send the car with parts to school with him, and they supply the labor.....

      Landru
      2004 S60R M66 167,000
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      congratulations, and good to see, but i bet decades ago there'd be twice as many guys in the class. Plus, they'd be meeting over at each other's houses pouring over the latest car mags and their own cars.
      Nowadays you buy repair insurance, so you can stay glued to your cell phone and social media.....

    33. #31
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      We had a rear-brake job last year at ca. 48K mi. on our former V60 Drive-E, and both the dealer and a well-regarded indie shop came in very close to the final quote of ca. $545. The job included - as noted above by others - new pads and rotors plus fluid replacement. Each shop maintained that the recommended work would entail new rotors rather than regrinding or truing up existing originals, which surprised me, as no excessive wear noted; however, we were told that “the manufacturer recommends that both rotors be replaced at the the pads are changed”, so what do we know? Our former ES300 Lexus had several brake jobs, most of which were pads-only, and after over 120K mi. were original rotors replaced, though they were reground twice previously.
      Also, because of the electric rear parking brake, we were told that charges would reflect “complexity” of the job...hmm, OK, pay the man.

    34. #32
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      Quote Originally Posted by john_hamster View Post
      “the manufacturer recommends that both rotors be replaced at the the pads are changed”
      Hmm.. That's a bit of a head-scratcher.

      One thing that leaves a bad taste in any customer's mouth is rework. If by chance a tech elected to re-use rotors and it did not work out well for some reason, customer dissatisfaction would outweigh the potential cost savings. Perhaps it's a "better safe than sorry" thing from Volvo's perspective.

      They may have felt the need for a blanket policy that takes the tech's judgement about re-use/replace out of the equation.

      However, I will say I've had problems with rotors that were turned at the local auto parts store. You can't really control the quality of the work. I can see why Volvo would be wary of that. In my opinion, I think one will have better luck simply re-using rotors with no machining if they are in excellent shape or purchasing new if not.
      Last edited by Dyno; 06-03-2020 at 02:10 PM.

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      There is a minimum thickness spec and a minimum thickness at pad replacement spec.

      If they are below minimum thickness, they need to be replaced (obviously).
      If you are replacing pads and they are below the minimum thickness at pad replacement, they need to be replaced.
      If you are over the minimum thickness at pad replacement when replacing pads and there are no obvious problems (rust, pitting, gouging, complaint of vibration, etc), you can just put pads on.

    36. #34
      Junior Member
      Join Date
      Nov 2018
      Location
      new cumberland,pa.
      Posts
      382
      I can remember that in general, every chevy, ford ive owned said replace the rotors with new brakes , and if replacing rotors use new pads. I never did, and never had an issue. If the rotor didn't meet specs or showed bluing or heat cracks, then it was replaced. I also stopped re surfacing rotors decades ago....on the advice of car magazines and auto repair shows I read and watched........I never trashed a good rotor.
      but I didn't have to deal with unhappy customers and return complaints.

    37. #35
      Member
      Join Date
      May 2003
      Posts
      1,874
      We have a consensus!

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